Decatur is the Marcia Brady of the metropolitan Atlanta area. Just as Marcia was envied by her less aesthetically pleasing sibling Jan, Decatur suffers from its share of sibling jealousy from neighboring intown neighborhoods. It’s envied for its good looks, schools and parks. There’s practically no neighborhood in Atlanta with such good walkability, and Decatur boasts a different festival practically weekly. It’s not a stretch to imagine Eve Plumb’s iconic “”Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!“” replaced by an envious cry of “”Decatur, Decatur, Decatur!”” when it comes to comparing places to live in Atlanta.
On the surface, Decatur has all of the fundamentals in place to withstand the real estate tsunami that’s hit the Atlanta market in recent years. The truth is in the numbers- let’s look back at Q1 and Q2 sales (Jan. 1- June 30) over the last five years:
|Year||# of Sales||Avg. Sales Price||Avg. Days On Market||Avg. SP/LP|
A few thoughts emerge from the jumble of numbers:
1. The First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit propped up the market in 2008, while depressing the market in 2009. This exists not only in the number of transactions, but also in the Average Sales Price (once you remove first time buyers- who tend to be purchasing relatively lower priced homes0 the average price rises).
2. 2011 is only 3.5% off the average sales price of 2007. It’s an interesting commentary on today’s housing market that most neighborhoods would kill for this kind of depreciation!
3. This year is the best since 2007 for Sellers from a “”List Price to Sales Price”” perspective.
4. Total transactions and Average Sales Price in 2011 trump 2010. This doesn’t mean that our housing woes in general have passed, but it says a good deal about what today’s homebuyer thinks about Decatur.
5. Total number of transactions in Decatur is down 23.5% from 2007. You can slice and dice the numbers any way you want, but there always will be one constant: there’s less real estate being sold today than there was five years ago.
And a few footnotes:
1. The search includes all detached homes in Decatur. That means no townhomes or condominiums.
2. I’m searching City of Decatur schools only. There are neighborhoods in unincorporated Dekalb County that might have Decatur addresses… but if it’s not City of Decatur schools, it ain’t Decatur as far as I’m concerned.
3. All data courtesy of FMLS.